MINOCQUA - The Town of Minocqua wants to tax itself more to raise money to fix roads.
Now, it just needs permission from the state legislature.
Town Chair Mark Hartzheim was disappointed lawmakers didn't include approval for a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) in the recent state budget. It would allow the town to add a half-percent sales tax on tourist spending to pay for roads.
"Our roads are, I mean, not terrible. They're not falling apart. But we have almost 200 miles of town roads. We're an enormous township, geographically speaking, so we have an enormous burden," Hartzheim said Thursday. "It just makes sense. We're trying to find ways on our own, without asking the state to give us more money, to fix the roads. It just makes sense for the state to let us do that."
Rhinelander started collecting the special tax in 2017.
Eagle River has had it even longer.
Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) plans to introduce a separate bill allowing Minocqua to start collecting the tax.
"Clearly, Minocqua is a community and an area in the state of Wisconsin that relies on tourism," said Swearingen. "Their population swells, certainly, in the summertime. It takes its toll on their infrastructure and their roads, and they clearly need this exemption."
If Swearingen's bill becomes law, Minocqua would have to get approval from its voters to start collecting the new tax.
An advisory referendum on the question passed easily last November.
DE PERE - St. Norbert Abbey in Wisconsin has released the names of 22 priests who faced "credible" allegations of sexually abusing minors.
The abbey says an independent review deemed more than 40 allegations credible. About half came from the 1960s, and 12 Norbertine priests faced multiple allegations. All but five are dead. Two of the living have left the abbey and ministry; three others are restricted from ministry.
Abbot Dane Radecki says the names were released Friday in the spirit of accountability, but gave few details of the allegations.
The abbey serves St. Norbert College and some schools and parishes around De Pere.
The report came six months after the Green Bay Diocese named 46 priests with credible claims of sexual abuse against them but did not include priests from independent orders.
MADISON - Madison police say they've arrested two teenage girls after a report of shots fired led to a chase and a crash into a squad car.
Officers responded to the shots fired around 12:45 p.m. Saturday. They found nobody injured or any damage, but found a shell casing and evidence that a suspected stolen car that had left the area was connected to the shots.
Police spotted the car about 45 minutes later and began a chase. After crashing into a Madison squad car, the two suspects ran away, leading to a short foot chase before they were arrested.
The 17-year-old and 16-year-old female suspects face charges of eluding a police officer and operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.
Both suspects and two Madison officers were treated for minor injuries.
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